Becky Kuhn, M.D. discusses how the use of crystal methamphetamine (a.k.a. meth, tina, crank, speed, tweak, ice, glass, or crystal) is contributing to the spread of HIV. Meth initially increases the sex drive, enables the user to stay awake for long periods, and reduces inhibitions. A California study showed that 25% of occasional users and 40% of chronic users are HIV positive. Methamphetamine is highly addictive. Users develop infected sores on the skin and face, often causing scarring and the appearance of accelerated aging. It reduces saliva production and causes compulsive tooth grinding, causing rapid tooth decay. It damages the brain, liver, kidneys, heart, and bones. It causes irritability, insomnia, aggression, paranoia, depression, and psychosis. If you are using meth, please see a doctor get into a treatment program to help you stop using it. Includes photos of meth users over time, "meth mouth," and methamphetamine (all used with permission).
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